First-Timers! 12 Broadway Debuts to Look Out For This Fall

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21 Aug 2014

With the fall Broadway season ready to take off, Playbill.com looks at a dozen artists who will make their Main Stem debuts this season.

From the young stars of This Is Our Youth, the Kenneth Lonergan drama that bows on Broadway this season, to recent college grads, multiple Grammy winners and Oscar nominees, Playbill.com guides readers through a handful of Broadway newbies before the new season heats up this fall.

Click through to check out who takes on Broadway for the first time.

Kieran Culkin and Michael Cera
Photo by Michael Brosilow
Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson in This Is Our Youth.

Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson are all making their Broadway debuts in This Is Our Youth, the three-hander by Kenneth Lonergan (who also happens to make his long-awaited playwriting Broadway debut with the 2014 revival of his 1996 Off-Broadway play). Cera is known for his film roles in "Superbad," "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist," "Juno" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," which also featured Youth co-star Culkin. Culkin has also been seen in "Home Alone," alongside his brother Macaulay Culkin, and on stage in SubUrbia at Second Stage Theatre. Gevinson, who is making her Broadway debut at age 18, first garnered attention a few years back with her fashion blog Style Rookie. The recent high school grad reprises the role of Jessica in This Is Our Youth — she starred with Cera and Culkin in the Steppenwolf production prior to the show's Broadway transfer.

Rose Byrne
Rose Byrne in You Can't Take It With You.

Rose Byrne makes her Main Stem debut as Alice Sycamore alongside a cast of Broadway veterans in Kaufman and Hart's You Can't Take It With You. The Australian actress was nominated for Golden Globe Awards in 2008 and 2010 for her work on "Damages." She is also known for her film work in "X-Men: First Class," "28 Weeks Later," "Insidious" and "Get Him to the Greek" as well as the Australian film "The Goddess of 1967," for which she earned a Venice Film Festival Award for Best Actress.

Alexander Sharp
Photo by Benedict Evans
Alexander Sharp in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Alexander Sharp comes to Broadway directly from Juilliard, where he graduated this past May. He will head the cast of the stage adaptation of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," about a socially awkward boy who is determined to solve the mystery of the death of his neighbor's dog. Sharp plays Christopher in the play, which received critical acclaim in the West End before transferring to Broadway, where it will open Oct. 5 at the Barrymore.

Rupert Grint
Rupert Grint in It's Only a Play.

Rupert Grint is best known for his portrayal of the redheaded, not-so-bright wizard Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise. Following in his "Harry Potter" co-star Daniel Radcliffe's footsteps, Grint now takes on Broadway. He will play the wunderkind director Frank Finger in the star-studded Terrence McNally play It's Only a Play. He joins a cast that includes Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing and F. Murrary Abraham. His work on screen also includes "Thunderpants," "Driving Lessons" and "Cherrybomb."

Hari Dhillon
 Hari Dhillon in Disgraced.

Hari Dhillon will play Amir Kapoor, the successful Muslim-American lawyer at the center of Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Disgraced. When Amir and his wife — an artist influenced by Islamic imagery — invite a co-worker and her husband to dinner, conversation turns towards race and identity, and things go awry. Best known for playing Michael Spence in the British television medical drama series "Holby City," Dhillon's theatre roles include the premiere production of Charles L. Mee's A Perfect Wedding in Los Angeles, the original production of Stephen Belber's Drifting Elegant at San Francisco's Magic Theatre and Helen Edmundson's Mother Teresa Is Dead at the West End's Royal Court Theatre.

Sting
Sting with The Last Ship.

Sting, the 16-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and frontman of The Police, makes his long-awaited Broadway debut as a composer with The Last Ship, a new musical inspired by his own childhood. Sting penned the music and lyrics for The Last Ship, which is set in his hometown, Wallsend, England. The semi-autobiographical musical follows Gideon Fletcher, played by American Idiot's Michael Esper, who sets out to travel the world and returns home 14 years later to find the local shipyard's future in danger and his childhood sweetheart engaged.

Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal
Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Real Thing.

Academy Award nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal will make her Broadway debut opposite stage and screen actor Ewan McGregor in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. Gyllenhaal (known for "Crazy Heart," "Secretary," "Waterland," "Cecil B. Demented," "Happy Endings" and "The Dark Knight") will play Annie, who has an affair with Henry, a married man (played by McGregor, whose recent projects include "Jane's Got a Gun," "Mortdecai" and "August: Osage County"). Both have played London stages — with Gyllenhaal starring in Antony and Cleopatra and McGregor featured in Othello, among others — but The Real Things marks their first bout with Broadway.

Laura Donnelly
Laura Donnelly in The River.

Laura Donnelly is the only cast member to transfer to Broadway from the original Royal Court production of Jez Butterworth's The River. The Northern Ireland actress made her on-screen debut in 2005 in the Channel 4 drama "Sugar Rush." She was also seen in Philadelphia, Here I Come! at the Donmar Warehouse as well as Judgment Day (Almeida), Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream (both at Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park). She will join Broadway favorite and Tony winner Hugh Jackman for her Main Stem debut.

Jake Gyllenhaal
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Jake Gyllenhaal in Constellations.

This season Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhall, known for his film work in "Brokeback Mountain," "Love & Other Drugs" and "Source Code," is reunited with playwright Nick Payne and director Michael Longhurst, who also make their Broadway debuts with Constellations. The three previously collaborated on the American premiere of If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet. Gyllenhall, whose sister Maggie also makes her Broadway debut this season, was seen in This Is Our Youth (which also bows for the first time on Broadway) in the West End.